Aiken County residents appear to be taking Gov. Henry McMaster's coronavirus orders seriously

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

After South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster gave law enforcement officials the power to break up parties greater than three in public places, many have been very easily following the rules. (Source: WRDW)

AIKEN, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- After South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster gave law enforcement officials the power to break up parties greater than three in public places, many have been very easily following the rules.

In Aiken County, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office says most folks are compliant.

The south’s best town in Aiken isn’t quite flowing like it used to.

Still, laughter is the best medicine for Michael Enloe’s grief with social distancing. Enloe is a business owner.

“I would love for it to be over tomorrow, but I’m realistic,” Enloe said.

The sheriff’s office is relying on what they call a “common sense approach.”

“There’s laws on the books where we can enforce that to include detaining those folks, but we think most of our citizens, if we ask them to break those groups up, they will do so,” Capt. Gallam of the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies have not had to do extra patrols, issue fines, or even consider arrests.

The sheriff’s office says they believe within the past few days, people have begun to take heed to CDC guidelines and McMaster’s orders.

“We would like to encourage our citizens to continue to do that and help us combat this virus,” Gallam said.

“I think people are waking and taking responsibility for themselves, and not just themselves -- it’s the whole community,” Gallam said.

The community as they knew it isn’t the same, but long-time neighbors and business owners like Enloe look forward to the day it will be.

Because the order aims to contain the virus’ spread, there isn’t a set deadline in which the sheriff’s office will stop enforcing it. The expectation is at least through April.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.